Actions

Work Header

You may be a sinner (but your innocence is mine)

Chapter Text

1862.

Crowley had his eyes closed. His eyelids had felt heavy, so he granted them the desire to darken his vision. There wasn’t much to see either way, just a growing number of empty bottles.

He had been drinking for hours. He had been torturing himself for longer. He had started drinking to try and forget what had hurt him, as the humans usually did. It wasn’t working.

Crowley took a sip from the bottle he was holding. He was lying on the floor of his flat, as long as he was, his bones digging painfully in the hard surface. It wasn’t the most comfortable position to be drinking, but he didn’t care anymore. What could happen? That he would choke with the alcohol? But really, who cared? It was clear as hell that the angel didn’t.

The angel didn’t trust him.

Of course he didn’t. How could he? Crowley was a demon, he was the Adversary. He was evil and full of bad intentions. It didn’t matter how many years of devotion Crowley had dedicated to him. It wasn’t enough, and it would never be; he was still a demon and nothing that he did could make that change. Not in the eyes of his angel, either way.

The thing that tormented Crowley was that he had made himself believe that maybe, just maybe, the angel could feel the same as him. That maybe Aziraphale hadn’t accepted it yet; but that he could at least admit they were friends. Even if he couldn’t say it aloud. But fraternizing? Really?

Another wave of emotion rushed through him. He could practically see the disappointment in the angel’s eyes. He wanted to push that memory deep in a dark well, but he knew he wouldn’t be able. He couldn’t forget.

He had been so stupid.

He was risking so much, every single day, to be able to see Aziraphale. He risked his immortal life; he was ready to suffer all of eternity just to see Aziraphale once more. One minute of smiles, that’s all he needed; he could Fall again just to hear his laughter. He could set his wings on fire just to bring him his favourite crepes.

Was it too much to ask for some kind of insurance?

It was only a bit of holy water. He only wanted to have some kind of plan if things turned badly. He could die for his angel, yes, but he didn’t want to leave him alone to face Heaven and Hell. He wanted to be by his side, so he needed that protection.

It turned out that he had been wrong about his angel the entire time.

Crowley took another sip, long and desperate. He finished the bottle in one go; he threw it unto the wall, and it crashed, sending crystal everywhere.

He still had his eyes closed.

He didn’t want to open them ever again.

 

He woke up some days later. He was still wearing the same clothes he had been wearing when he met Aziraphale; they stank of alcohol and sadness. He scrunched his nose; what a pathetic demon he was. Every time the angel showed signs of mistrust, or denied his relationship with him, this was how he reacted. When had been the turning point? When had he started to feel so bloody in love with the angel that he had to drown himself in alcohol to make the feelings more bearable?

He didn’t want to get up. The floor was a good place for him. Maybe he could just lay there and sulk for the rest of eternity. Make the angel miss him, if that was possible.

Light was pouring from the window in a gentle manner. Too gentle for him. He wasn’t in the mood for soft things. He finally opened his eyes- and felt a wave of embarrassment when he saw the state of his living room. There were bottles everywhere, some of them shattered. The light coming from the window was reflecting on them, jumping from a bottle to the other, colouring the walls around them.

It was kind of beautiful. Like the stars.

With a grunt, he lifted his arm and snapped his fingers. Some curtains appeared out of thin air, covering up the light. He dropped his arm, which hit the floor with a thud.

Just when he was starting to feel sleepy again, a puff of smoke scared the shit out of him. A note appeared on top of his chest, and it was slightly burning. He took it and sat up. Hell wouldn’t even let him sulk in peace. He was really tempted to just let the paper burn until it disappeared, but he really didn’t want to get on Dagon’s bad side. He opened it with a sigh that promptly died in his throat when he read what was written on it.

“Follow Lydia Thompson. Get involved with this burlesque business. Tempt the masses just as you usually do.”

Crowley had heard about burlesque, of course; anything that could tempt a big number of people at once was always a source of ideas for him. He had a faint idea of who Lydia Thompson was; he was surprised that Hell wanted him to follow a specific person.

He kept thinking about it until the paper completely burned between his fingers. Maybe this wasn’t bad news, after all. It could even be a good idea: get involved in something, work a bit and tempt some people. It could be fun, and it would keep his mind busy. It seemed a bit of a hassle, but if he did his work well, Hell would be pleased and maybe he wouldn’t need the holy water after all. And, most importantly, he could put some distance between Aziraphale and him. Relearn how to be by himself without angelic company.

He got up from the floor, popping his bones while doing so. Time to find out where this Lydia was. 

 

 

                Crowley swore out loud and began redoing her lipstick. She was having a bad day. Her hair wasn’t turning out how she wanted it to be, and her dress felt a bit too tight. She had to restart her makeup a couple of times, and it was making her angry which was, in turn, provoking more mistakes. She sighed, trying to calm herself. It was just another day on the stage; she had done this several times now. She grabbed the lipstick with more strength, determined to do it perfectly.

It turned out Lydia Thompson had been in America. Crowley had been a part of the British Blondes for some months now- they were all the rage in New York. When Crowley found her, Lydia had arrived not too long ago. He had infiltrated her troop and learned quickly how to perform. Crowley had adopted a female-presenting form -which he had missed-. His (her) hair was now longer, just below the ears, and her bony figure had some curves that her performance dress favoured very much. She loved to perform, all eyes on her while she sang and danced. The way they cheered at the sexy bits and laughed at the satirical ones. It was such a clever way of temptation; she could tempt them into lust, but also spark a flame of rebellion inside the spectators with the comedy and its references to present political situations. She loved to inspire all the women in public to seek for a better life. Burlesque had quickly become one of her favourite temptation arts during those months.

Lydia was a delight. She was bold, and full of eccentric ideas that Crowley loved to be a part of. She had the power to influence the masses in a way that even a demon could envy. Even Crowley was under Lydia’s spell, and she was glad. It had been a blessing, truly (in the best sense). In front of the public, being the centre of their attention and adoration, Crowley felt seen. She could take the angel away from her mind for a bit, for just a breath. Her legs hurt, and she sweat, but she never miracled these inconveniences away. It was part of it all, and it made her feel that she was important. That she mattered.

She sometimes wondered if Aziraphale cared about her. But if he did, he did it in a way Crowley couldn’t understand.

 Crowley missed him.

She wanted to tell him about everything she was doing. About how difficult it had been to dance with heels but how fun it had been. How she picked songs to perform that made her think of Aziraphale, somehow.

How she looked for him in the audience.

She would see some blue eyes and her demonic heart would stop beating. It was ridiculous, and every single time she mentally slapped herself. How could it be Aziraphale? Probably he was busy reading and scaring customers away. Crowley could imagine it perfectly: Aziraphale, with his stupid glasses on and a hot chocolate beside him, reading some old as balls book, without realizing the lack of demonic presence around him. Crowley was sure that the angel hadn’t even realized she wasn’t there. All these thoughts made her throat tighten.

Crowley slammed the lipstick on the table. Oh, how tired she was of this. By the looks of it, she would need more than just a few months to get over 6000 years of pining. But her makeup was finally done; she could worry about it later. Now was the time to tempt some mortals.

She stood up, her heels clicking on the floor. She walked towards Lydia, who was waiting for her, near the curtains hiding the stage. She could hear the public making noise at the other side of the curtains: people talking, and glasses clinking together.

“You look perfect.” Lydia winked at Crowley. “Get out there and make some trouble.”

Lydia walked away, going to the other side of the curtains to welcome the customers.

Crowley felt nervous. She always did just before a performance. She stepped onto the stage, where a chair was waiting for her. She sat down, her back to the public. The curtains were still closed, hiding her. Crowley took a couple of breaths, trying to steady herself. She heard Lydia making the public laugh; then she presented the upcoming show.

The curtains opened, and the band started the music.

 

 

                Aziraphale slammed the book on the table, and immediately regretted it. The book didn’t deserve this kind of treatment. Well, it wasn’t really that good a book, as it wasn’t fulfilling its purpose of distracting the angel.

Aziraphale had been worrying himself sick for months. He hadn’t seen the demon since their fight in St. James’ Park. He knew that Crowley was probably grumpy, drinking himself to unconsciousness in his flat. Aziraphale couldn’t help but worry; it had been a pretty big fight, and the subject of it was even worse. How could Crowley even consider...

He didn’t even want to think about it.

Aziraphale took the mistreated book and stood up from his chair to put it in its shelf. He wasn’t in the mood for reading, and that’s like saying he wasn’t in the mood for anything. He didn’t even want to eat.

Aziraphale walked around his beloved bookshop, caressing the books.

Normally their interactions weren’t like this. Aziraphale would get mad about something petty, and Crowley would eventually come back, invite him to have dinner, or go to a concert together. Aziraphale would be delighted, and of course all would be forgotten, and again they would start dancing around each other. Crowley would miracle small things for him, and Aziraphale would smile, secretly, in a loving way.

But not this time.

He hadn’t even received a note. Nothing, complete radio silence. Maybe this time he should take the first step towards reconciliation? Aziraphale considered this for a bit. He knew that he was afraid, and what scared him, the possibility of Crowley being harmed. He understood Crowley’s reasoning behind asking for holy water, but he was afraid that Crowley was going to use it against himself to escape from Hell’s torture. He knew about Crowley’s self destructing tendencies. Aziraphale wanted to help him, not hand him a weapon.

But maybe Aziraphale was in the wrong. Maybe Crowley just wanted the angel to trust him, to give him the insurance he needed and nothing more.

Aziraphale needed some time to accept it, still. To make sure about Crowley’s intentions. And he was still worried for him.

And Aziraphale missed him.

He stopped walking. He had made a decision. Aziraphale closed his eyes, expanding his aura, trying to find the familiar demonic aura that he loved.

It took him more than expected; Crowley was further away than he thought. Aziraphale smiled; Crowley could run away all he wanted, but the angel had decided it was his turn to go look for him, so he was going to, even if Crowley was hiding in the other side of the universe.

 

Nights in New York had always been noisy, something Aziraphale wasn’t a big fan of. The streets were packed with people going from club to club, not wanting to end their night just yet.

In this kind of ambience Aziraphale had detected Crowley’s demonic presence.

Aziraphale was just outside a club. There was a lot of noise coming from inside, in a way that was alluring to the people in the streets. Aziraphale straightened his jacket and bowtie. He was fidgeting, nervous. Who could imagine the demon would come to a place like this? Aziraphale wasn’t a fan of big crowds, and even though it looked kind of fun, he much preferred to have a tête a tête with Crowley in a more... private place. Obviously it was out of the question to go back home; it had been difficult enough to reunite the courage to go look for the demon, and he was damned if he wasn’t going to see him before the night ended. Things never went according to Aziraphale’s plans, but he could at least do his very best no matter the situation. If Crowley had disappeared to a club in America to drink his bad mood away, that was where Aziraphale was going to go.

Aziraphale, feeling a bit braver than when he had arrived, entered the place. It was as crowded as it appeared on the exterior, maybe even more. The lights were dimmed, creating a mysterious ambience. All the tables were full, and waiters in beautiful and sensual attires were carrying drinks to the impatient public. There was a stage there, but the curtains were still closed. Aziraphale could sense the excitement, he could tell there was some demon miracle behind the amazing amount of people gathered there. Aziraphale took his hat off, and started fidgeting with it between his hands. He wasn’t a coward, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t feel nervous. He considered miracling a free table for him, but there were too many people there and it would have been too obvious for the mortals. Either way, he needed to start searching for a certain redhead, so he couldn’t stand still.

His eyes scanned the crowd, but he couldn’t find the demon. Was it because of the poor light? Aziraphale started to walk around, making people to get out of his way with tiny miracles (he hated to bump into people).

He walked around for a bit, getting more and more desperate. It was clear that Crowley wasn’t anywhere he could see, even though he could sense his demonic energy all over the place. When Aziraphale was about to ask one of the waitresses if she had seen any redheads lately, he saw an amazing looking woman stepping on the stage in front of the closed curtains. She had long, curly hair tied up, and she was in drag, with a buttoned jacket and stockings. The sound of her shoes clicking on the floor immediately attracted everyone’s attention, and the loud conversations and laughs began to die out. Aziraphale, realizing the show was probably about to begin, decided it was best to get out of there quickly. He felt sad; this had been an utter failure, and the most disappointing thing was that he had felt brave for once, and it was all for nothing. Brave to accept his growing feelings for Crowley, to really act on it and show him that he cared about him. That he trusted him, but he couldn’t take the risk of the demon getting hurt. And honestly, Aziraphale was kind of scared that he wouldn’t feel this courageous again, and that he would start worrying about their respective sides again. He had just wanted to do things right for once.

He started to move towards the exit while the woman began to present the upcoming show.

“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen! I know that you’re amazed by my looks, but my number is coming later! For now, enjoy the dance of our newest member: Asmodeus!”

Aziraphale stopped walking suddenly. It couldn’t be, could it?

He turned around and saw the curtains opening. The band began playing, and he saw a too familiar figure sitting facing the back of a chair, while his (her?) back was facing the public. She wore her red hair a bit short, just below the ears, and it curled beautifully. Her dress was tight around her body, and it was really see-through, hardly covering her. The design was incredible; it was as if the dress was made of black feathers, like she had wings and she was using them to cover herself. Aziraphale realized she was wearing a choker with a golden snake. His eyes couldn’t help but stare, following the trace of her body. He saw that her heels (black, of course) looked like there was a golden snake coiled around them. The angel smiled; this kind of attention to detail was so characteristic of his demon it made his heart ache.

Aziraphale sure as Heaven didn’t expect to see Crowley on the stage, looking so tempting. It wasn’t the first time he had seen Crowley doing some temptation job directly, but never quite like this.

Crowley was snapping her fingers, her arm upwards. She was casting Hell’s powers while maintaining the rhythm of the music, making Aziraphale smile. He could feel how everyone’s attention turned to the demon, even more than before; they were unnaturally focused on her. The inclination towards sin increased exponentially. Aziraphale’s angelic senses were screaming at him to do something, to calm everyone down. But he couldn’t. He was hypnotized. It had nothing to do with Crowley’s powers; a part of him had always felt like this when he watched the demon walk in that manner of hers, or when she laughed sarcastically at things Aziraphale said.

Crowley stopped snapping her fingers, and threw her head backwards; the public could steal a glance of her outrageously red lips. She straightened her back again, and stood up, and oh lord, she started moving her hips like a snake. Aziraphale took a shaky breath. He realized Crowley wasn’t wearing glasses, letting everyone see her stunning yellow eyes. It was surely intended to have a greater effect on the public, like a snake hypnotising her prey. No one looked like they found those eyes strange.  The fact that he was able to see her eyes made her look even more beautiful.

It was just too much. He wanted to stop staring, he wanted to fly away, scared of the intensity of his emotions, even more taking into account that the last time he had seen his beloved friend it had been over a fight.

Crowley continued dancing, unaware of the effects on Aziraphale. She danced like that was the main purpose of her corporation. She moved her head, making her red hair move around. Because her hair was kind of short, those movements made her slim neck stand out. Aziraphale found himself itching to caress it, to kiss it, to bite it.

Aziraphale closed his eyes for a second, trying to calm himself. He had felt that way about Crowley for some time now, but he hadn’t expected for it to blow into his face like that. How could he talk to Crowley, when he felt like his blood, that he normally didn’t need, had started to rush through his veins?

The courage he needed now wasn’t to talk to Crowley, with his heart opened for the demon to see. He needed it now to run away. He wasn’t strong enough to get away from his desires, and to stop seeing Crowley dance. All he could do was to stay there and desire to be something else; something that would let him love who he wanted, fearless. He felt as if his own nature betrayed him.

Crowley danced and Aziraphale tried not to doubt his belief in God.

Crowley sat down on the chair again, facing the public fully this time, opening her legs a couple of times with a seductive smile on her face. The public had stopped breathing normally a long time ago. She slipped down on the floor in a way no human could do.

It was at this moment that Aziraphale realized he hadn’t been paying attention to the music at all. With surprise, he realized it had been Crowley who had been singing all along. Amazingly, her voice didn’t shake as she was dancing, like it was no big effort at all to do both things at the same time.

I found a way to let you win
But I never really had a doubt
Standing in the light of your halo
I got my angel now

Aziraphale’s heart, that had been beating unfamiliarly in his chest, stopped. His heart was breaking. The excitement he had been feeling turned to sadness when he sensed the meaning behind that song.

Crowley’s voice was soothing in a way her dance wasn’t. It was like she was dancing to tempt, but singing to finally free her true emotions. Aziraphale wasn’t an expert on music, and he had never been a part of Heaven’s choir, but he was sure that no singer could beat a voice like that.

Everywhere I'm looking now
I'm surrounded by your embrace
Baby, I can see your halo
You know you're my saving grace

You're everything I need and more
It's written all over your face
Baby, I can feel your halo
Pray it won't fade away

Grace? Grace was what Aziraphale was beginning to doubt he still had. He was starting to doubt God; he was feeling love towards the enemy, and even though loving all of God’s creation was as angelic you could be he was sure this kind of overwhelming love, and lust, wasn’t part of it. How could he continue being an angel, when the creation he cared the most about was a demon?

He wanted to believe that God was making him feel this way for a reason. This thought was what was keeping him sane, the reason he hadn’t yet Fallen. Maybe God wanted him to love a demon. It didn’t make much sense, but God’s Ineffable Plan never did.

But if Aziraphale was wrong that meant that not taking rein on his emotions would result in putting Crowley in serious danger.

Crowley started singing the post-chorus, her voice drenched in emotion.  It was tearing Aziraphale’s heart apart to see her like this. He wanted to reassure the demon, to tell her what he truly felt; he trusted her more than he trusted Heaven. But he couldn’t. He would be putting them both at risk, and he had to continue to look for the goodness that maybe Heaven still had. He had to believe in it. If not, he would be left with nothing. So he stood there, his body still, with pain in his heart, watching the creature that God’s Grace had abandoned, even though she sang better than any angel.

Tears began to gather in his eyes, but he miracled them away. He tried to focus on Crowley’s dance. He wanted to memorize this vision, to remember why he was fighting, why he needed to be strong. He needed to be, for the both of them.

You're the only one that I want
Think I'm addicted to your light

I swore I'd never fall again
But this don't even feel like falling

It looked like Crowley was about to cry. Suddenly, she slapped her butt, and began swinging her hips even more. She smiled like nothing happened, like everything was fine. Aziraphale admired this; Crowley could sometimes control her emotions in a way Aziraphale was kind of envious of.  She had never let her emotions get in the middle of her performance, but for Aziraphale, getting to see what the demon truly felt in such a freeing way made her even more attractive. 

It was a wonder how humans could get anything done. How could they function normally, like making coffee, or taking the bus, when they could feel this amount of passion for people and things in the world? These fragile bodies made of stardust, that contained the explosion of the Big Bang, how could they keep on living with all this fire in their hearts? Aziraphale sure felt like he was burning in Hellfire, with all these emotions messing with his head.

Crowley, still smiling, looked at the public. There was a bit of sweat on her skin. Occult and ethereal creatures didn’t sweat unless they wanted to; maybe she was doing it to look more human, or she was using it to make her skin shine. Aziraphale found himself wanting to know how it tasted. Would it be sweet, as his favourite chocolates, or would it be spicy, because of her demonic nature?

Crowley’s eyes were scanning the public, probably trying to erase any doubts towards temptation the mortals could still be feeling. She was on the ground, her stomach facing down, her legs moving with the rhythm of the music. While she sang, her forked tongue could be seen from time to time, and it did funny things to Aziraphale’s stomach.

What he hadn’t planned was for their eyes to meet.

 

                She was feeling kind of tired, the kind of feeling you get after a productive day. Today’s dance had been her own idea, and she was really proud of the result. She had felt everyone’s unaltered attention through all of it, so it proved to be a good temptation dance. The song had been a mistake, though; it hit too close home. It had made her too emotional, making her think of her angel, and she was there to take her mind off of things for a bit. A more light-hearted song would probably be best for next time, even if the public didn’t exactly listen to the lyrics.

Attention wasn’t something she usually sought. She loved it, of course; she liked to dress in provocative ways, without it being too much. Temptation was her speciality, and she was proud of her work. She didn’t usually look for this type of observation, or being this dramatic while tempting, but she found out she was enjoying it. It wasn’t the type of life she would have, but doing this for short periods of time could be a great idea. She found a peace of mind while dancing that was similar, if not better, than sleeping, and sometimes she needed to take a break.

And if she was being perfectly honest, even though she liked getting some attention from humans, what she truly wanted was Aziraphale to look at her. He had, during the six millennia they’ve known each other, but it had always been a quick glance, followed by shyness sometimes, or a sarcastic comment. Always something to hide, to quickly forget  even happened. It had never been as openly and shamelessly as these mortals were looking at her.  It wasn’t what she wanted, but it was what she could get. Was it so bad to seek momentary attention, even if it wasn’t the most important one, to forget about her unrequited love for a second? And her imagination had always been good; she could always imagine she wasn’t on a stage, in front of dozens of strangers, but instead with her angel, doing a private dance, for his eyes only. She wouldn’t use her tempting powers; just her movements, her eyes locked in the angel’s eyes, trying to convey all her emotions in one of the oldest ways humans had tried to express themselves.

She turned to the public, swaying her legs, while she was lying on the floor, her head between her hands. In every dance she did she liked to look at the public in the eyes, to feel her dance working as intended. Her tempting work was in fact pretty simple; she would get them into the mood of sin, but not in a crazy sort of way. She wanted them to have a fun night, something they could explain as an anecdote to their friends. She made sure nothing bad happened to anyone there, nothing permanent they could regret later. Just innocent sin.

And that’s when she found him.

A pair of pale blue eyes were looking at her; shamelessly, openly. She knew those eyes too well; they haunted her in her best dreams. The angel was there, and he was looking at her; he had seen her dance, and he was smiling in a pleased way, like he was surprised. And he was looking at her.

For a second she thought she would stop dancing, making the spell be gone; but somehow she told her body to continue. What her body didn’t want to obey was the command to look away from those eyes. Now her performance was only for them to see. The mortals were still there; but she couldn’t care less.

She saw how Aziraphale broke the connection momentarily, and started to look at her, all of her, his eyes stopping to see her hips, her legs, her neck. She saw all of this, and she could feel her skin burning, as if those holy eyes could make her poor demonic soul burn away. She didn’t stop dancing, she didn’t stop looking at him; if she stopped she felt like he would disappear as a mirage, like something her feverish mind had made up out of desperation. Aziraphale returned his gaze to her eyes, and she saw lust and love in them, mixed together, matching the way she was feeling. It was like Aziraphale wanted her to see him looking at her. She felt her face hot, but her hands were cold from nervousness. Something was pulsing inside of her, seeing the centre of her desires finally looking at her with the emotions she had always wanted to see in him. Crowley wondered why the angel was there; maybe her wish of him being there had attracted him.

A thought raced through her mind, cold as ice.

What if Aziraphale was looking at her like that thanks to her demonic powers? She had been using them all night, coming from her body as waves. What if, somehow, the angel had been affected too? It was weird that Aziraphale could be affected this way. She wasn’t even using the full extent of her powers. But the chances weren’t zero.

This changed everything that was happening. The happiness she had allowed herself to feel died in a second. She was an optimist, of course; she normally believed that the world would always be by her side.

But not now. Not tonight. Not when they had just fought, not when she had realized the angel didn’t trust her and probably never would. The memories of the pain she had felt when they fought returned.

She had grown used of loving someone that couldn’t love her, not as she wanted him to. But to feel for a second that her feelings were being returned, and then having them smashed by the cold and hard reality was more than she could bear. She stopped looking at Aziraphale, and didn’t look at him for the rest of the dance. She could nearly feel his disappointment, but she couldn’t be sure she wasn’t projecting her own onto him.

She finished dancing. She looked at Aziraphale one last time, and she saw hurt there; and without waiting for the public to applaud, she fled the stage.

She could see Lydia trying to walk towards her, but she wasn’t in the mood for talking to anyone. She just wanted to run, run, run.

She got to the street, and she felt people staring at her. Her clothes weren’t appropriate to go out in the middle of the night. She discretely changed her corporation to the one she previously had.  She also made Lydia and everyone else from the British Blondes group forget about her. It was better for all of them to forget the crazy girl that appeared out of nowhere and disappeared again. This hurt a bit; Crowley had grown fond of those crazy girls trying to revolutionize the world from the stage. He would get over it; they were only mortals after all. Their friendship had always been temporary.

Crowley, using the remains of energy he had left, teleported himself to his flat in London. He felt nearly as tired as he had felt in the fourteenth century; he just wanted to go somewhere familiar where he could crawl into a bed and sleep forever. He went straight to his bed (that he used exclusively when he felt especially sad) and tried to fall asleep.

He felt his mind racing; everything had happened so fast. For a second he had seen the disappointment in Aziraphale’s eyes, and that vision was haunting him. He felt filthy. He had always felt that way, in some way; but that night the feeling was as strong as never. He felt like he sullied everything he touched with his demonic nature. He couldn’t help it; it came with being a demon. He didn’t want to be an angel, of course not. But he didn’t like some things that came with the definition of being a demon. He was unforgivable, and he couldn’t be nice. He was scared all of this could affect Aziraphale. He loved him as he was, even if he was too fixated with Heaven. He didn’t want the angel to Fall for him. He had tried to be as careful as he could; but that night he had finally messed everything up. He had used his temptation powers on Aziraphale, contaminating him with emotions and thoughts he shouldn’t have due to his ethereal nature. He had seen it; he had felt the lust in the angel. And even if there was love in there, he couldn’t know if he was just imagining it, trying to see what he dreamed of. It didn’t matter if Aziraphale loved him, romantically, if that were the case; Crowley knew he didn’t deserve it. He was a demon, a creature of darkness, full of sin and filthy thoughts.

What if Aziraphale was in danger of Falling now?

Crowley moved around in his bed. He decided, just before finally falling asleep, that what was best was to sleep for a long, long time. What he needed, and Aziraphale needed too, was to disappear for a period of time and forget about this in a more dramatic way than just doing burlesque. What was even better was that he wasn’t going to be there to accidentally mess things up for Aziraphale. He could leave the angel to be his Graceful self without a demon in his shadow. Heaven wouldn’t be suspicious of him, and all traces of Crowley’s powers would have time to disappear from the angel’s mind.

He didn’t want to admit it, but his last conscious thought was that he wished Aziraphale would miss him.

 

 

                The public applauded, even though the dancer wasn’t there anymore. Aziraphale was perplexed. What had just happened? He had felt a connection with Crowley, like she had only been dancing and singing for him, for a little while. His heart was still beating fast because of it. But suddenly, Crowley had averted his gaze, and she had run away. All the exciting and scary emotions Aziraphale had felt that night were gone with Crowley. He was confused, and hurt. Maybe Crowley had felt shame at seeing the angel looking at her perform; but if that were the case, why didn’t she run away the moment she saw Aziraphale? She was probably still mad about the holy water, and it was clear she didn’t want to talk to him. It was no use chasing her, then.

He just wanted to understand Crowley better, and for that reason he had come chasing her after the fight. But seeing how things had turned out, maybe they were too different for that. It didn’t matter how brave Aziraphale tried to be; he couldn’t get into the demon’s mind.

The confusion started being replaced by anger. Why couldn’t Crowley talk to him? Aziraphale desired for better communication between them; he didn’t want to continue denying their friendship. He felt other things beyond that, of course, but it was too dangerous to do something about it. And he wasn’t sure Crowley felt the same way towards him. It was probably the reason why she had run away, and why she hadn’t told him about her burlesque job. Even though they had the Arrangement, there were things Crowley didn’t want an angel to meddle with.

Frustrated, Aziraphale left the club, and prepared himself to teleport back to the bookshop. He couldn’t stand to be one more minute in New York. If Crowley didn’t want to talk to him, so be it; he was going to wait for the demon to take the first step towards reconciliation this time.

A part of him was scared Crowley never would. And he was sure he was going to miss her while he waited for her.